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Default RPGWatch Feature: Divinity: Original Sin II - Game Master Mode

May 9th, 2017, 17:09
I visited larian Studios to check out their new Game Master mode in Original Sin II, which was a Kickstarter stretch goal.

The Game Master mode is integrated into Original Sin II and makes use of the available functionality and game mechanics as offered by the game engine. Up to four persons can play together with one game master. For this you join one of the available campaigns that have been prepared by the game master after which you can create your character.

Character creation is the same as in Original Sin II, which means a classless system where you are free to use one of the predefined characters and tweak it or create a character from scratch. Joining me in the game were, next to the game master, 3 persons from Larian Studios. We ended up with an elven wizard, a lizard rogue, a human dumbwitted farm-boy fighter and a human rich brat pretending to be a battlemage, which was my character.

After creation of the characters we rolled for gold with the 20-sided dice. The amount we rolled would be multiplied by 10. As I was a descendent from rich parents I got to roll twice, but apparently I kind of lost money on my way here as I ended up with just 50 gold. Strangely enough the thief in our party ended up with a lot of gold…
More information.
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May 9th, 2017, 17:09
On the 28th of April I went to Ghent again to check out the new game master mode for Original Sin II and this is my, somewhat lengthy, report of that visit.
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May 9th, 2017, 19:44
That sounds very innovative for me - thank you for the report, Myrthos!
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May 9th, 2017, 21:11
I forgot about this. That is very cool. Thanks for the report.
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May 9th, 2017, 22:21
These Larian guys are really breaking new ground. Amazing stuff. I'm really impressed. Thx for the cool report Myrthos!
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May 9th, 2017, 23:00
A very interesting read Myrthos! I'm impressed by Larians attention to detail and the game is still in alpha! Having day night cycles will make campaigns quite interesting I think.
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May 10th, 2017, 07:11
I think that how it works is that you have one day-night cycle per level. Although probably the game Master can manually start a night-day cycle. And it is just an illumination thing.
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May 10th, 2017, 07:11
I didn't even know about this and it looks fantastic.

Could it be the game Sword Coast Legends utterly failed to be?
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May 10th, 2017, 07:22
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
I think that how it works is that you have one day-night cycle per level. Although probably the game Master can manually start a night-day cycle. And it is just an illumination thing.
Its good enough. If the game master wants anything more extensive it looks like dragging and dropping is all they need to do to add a faux scheduling and the like. Swen said on the pcgamer preview they will be adding search functionality to make finding stuff easier which should speed things up as well.

Originally Posted by NewDArt View Post
I didn't even know about this and it looks fantastic.

Could it be the game Sword Coast Legends utterly failed to be?
That game was not a smudge on this game.
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May 10th, 2017, 11:21
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
That sounds very innovative for me - thank you for the report, Myrthos!
Is there anything really novel in comparison to Neverwinter Nights?
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May 10th, 2017, 12:11
I never DMed in NWN, so I wouldn't know what is novel and what not. The major differences however (AFAIK) are that it is not D&D and there is no scripting involved.
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May 10th, 2017, 12:19
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Is there anything really novel in comparison to Neverwinter Nights?
You mean apart from being 15 years newer with a vastly superior game engine?

Based on the brief glimpse in the video, the game master mode seems incredibly easy to use, powerful and flexible.

The easier something like that is to use, the more likely it is that it will catch on.
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May 10th, 2017, 12:43
Sounds rather ambitious to say the least..

By the way, does a GM + 4x players have to be present, or can someone simply create a campaign and upload it, NWN style?
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May 10th, 2017, 12:46
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Sounds rather ambitious to say the least..

By the way, does a GM + 4x players have to be present, or can someone simply create a campaign and upload it, NWN style?
DM is entirely optional AFAIK.
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May 10th, 2017, 12:48
NWN? I wish there was delete key I could use to erase all memories on that horror.
I'm not superexcited about this addition as some are as I don't (normally) MMO, but there is a reason I'm taking this here as a positive thing.

In a world where a MMO bundled with a singleplayer game (or vice versa in Titanfall 2, etc) is advertised as desirable, GM mode feels like a slap to EA CEO face. And not just EA, but also all other developers/publishers who forgot what videogames are about - pushing new ideas that could (and should) be fun.

D:OS already had coop possibility and it's sequel will have it too, but I don't remember Larian ever bragging about it. Wasteland 3 that added coop, something Wasteland 2 didn't have, based it's crowdfunding campaign on that coop as if it's second coming.

Maybe GM mode will suck in D:OS2. But at least they're trying to make some actual game enhancement and not copypaste the same old MMO grind or noAI_noGM coop everyone else does.

In any case I want to see it. After I do, I'll know if next game with such mode I'll buy/back or will yell again "MMO! no buy!".
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Last edited by joxer; May 10th, 2017 at 12:59.
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May 10th, 2017, 13:28
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Sounds rather ambitious to say the least..

By the way, does a GM + 4x players have to be present, or can someone simply create a campaign and upload it, NWN style?
Anyone can create a campaign and upload it to something like Steam Workshop for others to use. If you want to play the campaign you need to have a GM and players. in principle you can do it with 1 player controlling one or more characters. But a campaign with only one player might not be so much fun.
The restriction is not in the Game Master mode, but what original Sin restricts you to and that restriction is a minimum of 1 player, controlling 1-4 characters.
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May 10th, 2017, 14:24
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
Anyone can create a campaign and upload it to something like Steam Workshop for others to use. If you want to play the campaign you need to have a GM and players. in principle you can do it with 1 player controlling one or more characters. But a campaign with only one player might not be so much fun.
The restriction is not in the Game Master mode, but what original Sin restricts you to and that restriction is a minimum of 1 player, controlling 1-4 characters.
Thanks. Can the GM role be scripted? If so, it should be possible to create NWN style campaign modules and such. I suspect there are a lot of people out there willing to produce content if the tools are right.
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May 10th, 2017, 15:16
No the GM role cannot be scripted, nor is it supposed to be scripted. It is supposed to play out like in a P&P session, which also isn't scripted. You need someone to react to what the players want to do.

Original Sin 2 can be modded though. You can create mods with the delivered toolset, including whatever scripting you want or need, if that is what you want to do.
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May 12th, 2017, 22:04
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Sounds rather ambitious to say the least..
Very clearly, without entering details, reach a Baldur's Gate 2 quality was already hugely ambitious, add more very ambitious subjects, is looking like a dev that lost sense of proportion, or at least they lost track of their promise to reach a Baldur's Gate 2 quality.
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May 17th, 2017, 21:47
Well, I have zero interest in this element of the game since I'd only ever want to play this type of RPG as single player. I'm not a big fan of DOS anyways so it doesn't much matter.

Originally Posted by joxer View Post
NWN? I wish there was delete key I could use to erase all memories on that horror.
I was never into NWN that much but I do prefer a more D&D style game than the game/character development systems in DOS, which I find to be plain and boring.

I also don't care for the elemental soup that is every battle in DOS.

Nothing about DOS II really impresses me since I don't care about fluffy races, the combat and core systems appear to be the same (no improvements/refinements), and I worry that screwing around with gimmick features like DM mode could detract them from doing game elements that they do well.

NWN was a pretty good system that allowed for a ton of player made content. Seeing something like with today's tech and graphics wouldn't be all bad, IMO.

I could stand to see a game that allowed for player created content, with turn-based combat similar to TOEE (best combat in any D&D cRPG IMO), and something resembling older D&D rules and gameplay.

There's probably some nostalgia involved but I've found a lot of the more recent cRPGs to be lacking. Even when the UIs are modern and better, there are more features overall, and content is good, the combat and overall gameplay often feel to generic/steamlined/bleh.
Last edited by Voqar; May 17th, 2017 at 21:59.
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